Video Fitness

Tummy Trimmers

Kathy Smith

"Tummy Trimmers", despite its horrid name, is a great little DVD. It contains five varied 10-minute ab workouts which you can program to play in any order.

Set: The set is decorated in soft autumn tones with muted lighting, giving the workouts a relaxed feeling.

Background exercisers: Kathy works with a small group of background exercisers, including one guy, except in the Pilates section, where she is alone. While some of the ladies display admirably ripped midsections, a couple have more "real- world" shapes, which reinforces Kathy's emphasis on strength and functional fitness over aesthetic considerations.

DVD design: The main menu gives a brief audio introduction from Kathy to each workout. My only complaint about the design is that, when you make your selection, a red box appears against a shocking pink background, which is very difficult to see.

Now on to the workouts...

Standing Abs: I was a bit disappointed with this workout, as it is far less intense than other standing ab routines. However, it is designed as a warmup to the other routines, rather than a stand-alone workout, and in this respect it fits the bill. You could also use it as a warmup to other DVDs. After a quick warmup, Kathy moves into a series of twisting knee lifts, overhead stretches, side- to-side chops, and some standing balance work.

Core Abs: This section will be a favourite among the crunch-phobic. It combines a series of toe taps, planks with variations, back extensions, boat and half-boat poses and side planks with hip pulses.

Boot Camp Abs: This aptly-named workout includes a variety of crunches, including crunches while twisting your legs over to one side (I really felt this in my obliques), pulsed crunches, V-sits, and bicycles. The workout finishes with a quick cobra stretch.

Stability Ball Workout: After a warmup consisting of reaches and twists while straddling the ball, Kathy moves into a long series of crunches on the ball. This is followed by woodchops (you could add a light medicine ball to this bit), back extensions on the ball, roll-outs, leg lifts with your pelvis on the ball, tucks, and side crunches with one hip on the ball.

Pilates Mat Abs: This is a short yet effective series of roll-ups, single and double leg stretches, and bridges. Kathy continually keeps you focused on perfect form.

Overall comments: There's nothing new or innovative here - just a series of well- designed, effective routines which work all sections of your abs without a wasted moment. Kathy also incorporates some quick stretches throughout the workouts.

Rating: Five stars out of five.

Instructor comments: Kathy is gently encouraging. Throughout the DVD she says that, while everyone wants a six-pack, it's important to have a strong midsection to help us perform everyday activities. During the workouts, she often points out the muscles you are using on the background exercisers, and demonstrates easier and more advanced variations. And of course, she looks fantastic!


April 2007

Video Fitness copyright © 1996 - 2009 Wendy Niemi Kremer    All rights reserved